I have always been an avid reader.  I grew up on a steady diet of Beverly Cleary and Judy Blume.  One of my favorite places in the world was my local library where I would spend hours in the children’s section reading with my best friend.   As I grew up, I was drawn to different sections of the library, but the thrill of getting lost in a fabulous book has remained one of my favorite things in the world.

A few years ago while going through a particularly difficult time, I found myself in the library looking for some “light reading”.  I got the idea to go into the children’s section and picked up “A Wrinkle in Time”.  As soon as I opened the book, I felt like I was being dropped right back into my childhood and it reminded me of what magic can lie in books.  To put it mildly, it was the best therapy I could have imagined.   I quickly devoured all my childhood favorites:  From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, Harriet the Spy, Blubber.  I then moved on to what was currently being written for kids, tweens and teens.  I found the incredible world of Young Adult fiction and couldn’t believe the shelves of amazing stories and characters I had been walking by since “growing up”.  I was blown away by Looking For Alaska, Speak and Deadline.  A few years later my son was born and again I dove into my childhood reading him the picture books my parents read me: Green Eggs and Ham, Are You My Mother? and Where the Wild Things Are and I’ve discovered fabulous more current titles by like Mo Willem’s Knuffle Bunny, Jon Scieszka’s SmashCrash and Todd Parr’s The Family Book.

I always appreciated the role literature played in my life, but I never fully understood how I turned into a reader in the first place.   Anyone in the children’s literacy world will tell you there are two essential ingredients to encouraging kids to read:  first you need to have captivating books available and second you have to find a way to get those books into their hands.   In my case, I was lucky to be raised by parents who filled the house with books, read to me, and took me to the library regularly.  And luckily for all of us, there is no shortage of insightful, engrossing and entertaining books.

After rediscovering my love of children and teen literature, I started lurking in the kid lit blogosphere and have been overwhelmed by the amazing bloggers out there who are as passionate about children’s literature and fostering a love of reading in young kids as I am.  My intent with this blog is to highlight what other organizations, teachers, librarians, authors, parents, and others are doing to inspire a love of reading in kids.  I hope that those reading this blog will find good ideas and adopt them so that all the great work being done in the children’s literacy world will multiply.

So, welcome!  I hope you will find this blog valuable to the kid lit community and that each reader will find and idea or two to bring to your own corner of the world.  If you have any ideas for me to share, I’d love to hear them!